Hype prevails… but simply not as much as everybody wants it to. We all know what happens, big names create controversy, whether it appeals to the interest of all parties or sullies a reputation into the ground, the fact remains that once you’ve developed a name for yourself, there will always be those interested in whether you ‘make it’ or ‘fail trying’. It’s as much of a doubled edged sword as a well placed gamble, where the results are known only at the culmination of any activity. Leading into the release of Devil You Know’s debut album, “The Beauty Of Destruction”, the internet and (metal) industry was a buzz with speculation, rumors, slander and hope. This is all caused from a simple mention of the group’s lineup (somewhat a ‘super-group’ considering the years each member has had in the industry). Take the band’s frontman for example; you may better know him as the second (and longest running vocalist) of metalcore group, Killswitch Engage and while Howard Jones (Blood Has Been Shed) takes a stand on “The Beauty Of Destruction” it allows preconceptions of what this particular album may sound like even before the first track begins. Even All Shall Perish guitarist, Francesco Artusato leaves room for specualtion, despite being a capable guitarist in his own right, the question will be asked: “How much will this sound like All Shall Perish?”.
Misconceptions aside, Devil You Know haven’t left everything close to the chest, a tour around Australia with the yearly Soundwave Festival, “Seven Years Alone” released early and a video to follow, listeners’ will at least be able to see a fraction of the music to be released April 25. As a reader you must wonder why this reviewer has gibbered on about preconceptions and expectations without covering a single aspect of this album. It’s simple really, all this leads into why my opinion of “The Beauty Of Destruction” is so jaded, back and forth and ultimately positive.
“The Beauty Of Destruction” is an respectable release, but manages to fall short of achieving the level of hype created months before its actual release. That’s not to say it’s a disappointment, far from it. It seems the hype train (all aboard!) limits the success of an album this caliber, even before you consider what other acts the members come from. So I guess the big question is, “What does Devil You Know’s The Beauty Of Destruction actually sound like? Put simply, it’s a whole different animal, but of the same breeding. “The Beauty Of Destruction” is full of the nuances that made Jones’ stint with Killswitch Engage so very successful. Formulaic verse, chorus, verse chorus structures, filled to the brim with hook lines and catchy shouts – Howard hasn’t lost the ability to link words into rhythmic, relate-able phrases tying in to the band’s audience. Take the album opener for example; ‘A New Beginning’ takes hold of a fresh start, but the beginnings of Devil You Know doesn’t have to set themselves apart from the artist’s past acts, rather it defines a new chapter for a bunch of talented musicians. The track itself is full of emotive “Something left to fight for, and we won’t stop until there’s no more” showing a track that would excel in any live setting. Mid tempo riffs meet solid drum patterns, tied in with floating melodies that bring together a whole range of influences without conforming completely to any of them. ‘A New Beginning’ highlights the fact that Devil You Know is the next natural step.
As a whole, “The Beauty Of Destruction” is filled with highlights, spread among the occasional filler. The pre-released ‘Seven Years Alone’ acts as an anchor-point for the record, but others emerge as album favorites. ‘It’s Over’ brings back contrast for these usual hard hitters, a ballad-esque Jones over picked guitar notes before lifting the track’s sound with rung out chords and crashing cymbals. Howard’s layered vocals showcase on smooth tones as the song crescendos and decrescendos. It’s not the usual scream fest, and adds a nice touch to the record as a whole. It’s a shame that “The Beauty Of Destruction” only loiters on doing something completely individual. There’s room for the music to grow, equal and than transcend a genre. It’s hard, especially considering just how much modern metalcore has suffered with new faces rehashing older influences. At the same time, the fun simply doesn’t stop with the tracks mentioned above. ‘Crawl From The Dark’ builds from the basics of the genre and allows a natural progression of sound. Instrumentally, all the boys are on par, building the very foundations for Jones’ cleans. From a song writing stand point, it’s not anything special, instead it’s simple and very well executed. Contextually, the album follows the same vein of thought; regrets, despair, death and new life make make a lyrical appearance – – which again, is nothing new.
Overall, Devil You Know’s opening recording to the world helps idolizes the names behind the project but doesn’t push on any boundaries or sound completely ‘new’. It’s got chops, as well as enough guitar solos to keep the six string jockey’s happy. “The Beauty Of Destruction” highlights that these guys can put songs together no matter who they’re with or what name they choose to put above their stage. For those looking for a new Blood Has Been Shed, you’ll be dissapointed, if you’re looking for a Killswitch Engage 2.0, again, you won’t find what you’re looking for here. Instead Devil You Know’s debut is an algamation of each individual musician, creating a sound that can only be described as Devil You Know. There’s a great chance that these guys will continue momentum with another release (hopefully in the coming years).
|1||– A New Beginning|
|2||– My Own|
|3||– Embracing The Torture|
|4||– For The Dead And Broken|
|5||– Seven Years Alone|
|6||– It’s Over|
|7||– A Mind Insane|
|8||– Crawl From The Dark|
|9||– The Killer|
|10||– I Am The Nothing|
|11||– Shut It Down|
|12||– As Bright As The Darkness|
|13||– Sacrifice (Bonus Track)|
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